People use their mobile phones on a busy street in Seoul, South Korea. With falling birth rates and rising divorce rates, South Korea is seeing an uptick in businesses focussing on solo consumers. This has had a ripple effect, with more people embracing time spent alone.

People use their mobile phones on a busy street in Seoul, South Korea. With falling birth rates and rising divorce rates, South Korea is seeing an uptick in businesses focussing on solo consumers. This has had a ripple effect, with more people embracing time spent alone.

 “Every day my heart breaks // I cry to the point I lose my breath // I may scream a thousand times that I forgot // At some point I realise I’m standing on the edge,” sings Ms Lee Seung Hyun in Korean, She belts out My Love, a ballad by rock band Buzz, in a coin noraebang.

“Every day my heart breaks // I cry to the point I lose my breath // I may scream a thousand times that I forgot // At some point I realise I’m standing on the edge,” sings Ms Lee Seung Hyun in Korean, She belts out My Love, a ballad by rock band Buzz, in a coin noraebang.

 Single-serving foods, readily available at supermarkets and convenience stores, are pictured.

Single-serving foods, readily available at supermarkets and convenience stores, are pictured.

 Comic book cafes, open 24 hours a day, provide concentration pods for reading a book in isolation.

Comic book cafes, open 24 hours a day, provide concentration pods for reading a book in isolation.

 A young couple takes the underpass in a metro station in Seoul. Korea’s birth rate is expected to fall to an all-time low of 0.96 by 2018.

A young couple takes the underpass in a metro station in Seoul. Korea’s birth rate is expected to fall to an all-time low of 0.96 by 2018.

 Some 37,000 convenience stores offer ready-to-eat meals for solo diners. It used to be frowned upon to eat alone in public, but this is no longer the case.

Some 37,000 convenience stores offer ready-to-eat meals for solo diners. It used to be frowned upon to eat alone in public, but this is no longer the case.

 Men in their 30s form the largest proportion of people living alone. Choi Jun Ho, 32, is one of them. He lives in a rented Gangnam apartment.

Men in their 30s form the largest proportion of people living alone. Choi Jun Ho, 32, is one of them. He lives in a rented Gangnam apartment.

 Along with small Korean side dishes (banchan), Mr Choi also regularly eats fruit as they require little preparation.

Along with small Korean side dishes (banchan), Mr Choi also regularly eats fruit as they require little preparation.

 “Meeting person who I love to,” writes Mr Choi on a list of things he enjoys doing on weekends. Since last year, he has been attending English lessons, and has taken a language test in preparation for his big move to London. Mr Choi, who recently left his job of seven years, says he can afford to pursue a career overseas because he does not intend to settle down anytime soon.

“Meeting person who I love to,” writes Mr Choi on a list of things he enjoys doing on weekends. Since last year, he has been attending English lessons, and has taken a language test in preparation for his big move to London. Mr Choi, who recently left his job of seven years, says he can afford to pursue a career overseas because he does not intend to settle down anytime soon.

 Mr Choi’s dining table is piled high with notes from his English lessons. This area is where he does his work, eats and watches videos to relax.

Mr Choi’s dining table is piled high with notes from his English lessons. This area is where he does his work, eats and watches videos to relax.

 Men in their 30s form the largest proportion of people living alone. Choi Jun Ho, 32, is one of them. He lives in a rented Gangnam apartment.

Men in their 30s form the largest proportion of people living alone. Choi Jun Ho, 32, is one of them. He lives in a rented Gangnam apartment.

 A postcard from Mr Choi’s friend, whom he got to know via Couchsurfing, hangs on his fridge. Occasionally, Mr Choi opens up his studio apartment to foreigners looking for a place to stay in Seoul as a way of expanding his network.

A postcard from Mr Choi’s friend, whom he got to know via Couchsurfing, hangs on his fridge. Occasionally, Mr Choi opens up his studio apartment to foreigners looking for a place to stay in Seoul as a way of expanding his network.

 People use their mobile phones on a busy street in Seoul, South Korea. With falling birth rates and rising divorce rates, South Korea is seeing an uptick in businesses focussing on solo consumers. This has had a ripple effect, with more people embracing time spent alone.
 “Every day my heart breaks // I cry to the point I lose my breath // I may scream a thousand times that I forgot // At some point I realise I’m standing on the edge,” sings Ms Lee Seung Hyun in Korean, She belts out My Love, a ballad by rock band Buzz, in a coin noraebang.
 Single-serving foods, readily available at supermarkets and convenience stores, are pictured.
 Comic book cafes, open 24 hours a day, provide concentration pods for reading a book in isolation.
 A young couple takes the underpass in a metro station in Seoul. Korea’s birth rate is expected to fall to an all-time low of 0.96 by 2018.
 Some 37,000 convenience stores offer ready-to-eat meals for solo diners. It used to be frowned upon to eat alone in public, but this is no longer the case.
 Men in their 30s form the largest proportion of people living alone. Choi Jun Ho, 32, is one of them. He lives in a rented Gangnam apartment.
 Along with small Korean side dishes (banchan), Mr Choi also regularly eats fruit as they require little preparation.
 “Meeting person who I love to,” writes Mr Choi on a list of things he enjoys doing on weekends. Since last year, he has been attending English lessons, and has taken a language test in preparation for his big move to London. Mr Choi, who recently left his job of seven years, says he can afford to pursue a career overseas because he does not intend to settle down anytime soon.
 Mr Choi’s dining table is piled high with notes from his English lessons. This area is where he does his work, eats and watches videos to relax.
 Men in their 30s form the largest proportion of people living alone. Choi Jun Ho, 32, is one of them. He lives in a rented Gangnam apartment.
 A postcard from Mr Choi’s friend, whom he got to know via Couchsurfing, hangs on his fridge. Occasionally, Mr Choi opens up his studio apartment to foreigners looking for a place to stay in Seoul as a way of expanding his network.

People use their mobile phones on a busy street in Seoul, South Korea. With falling birth rates and rising divorce rates, South Korea is seeing an uptick in businesses focussing on solo consumers. This has had a ripple effect, with more people embracing time spent alone.

“Every day my heart breaks // I cry to the point I lose my breath // I may scream a thousand times that I forgot // At some point I realise I’m standing on the edge,” sings Ms Lee Seung Hyun in Korean, She belts out My Love, a ballad by rock band Buzz, in a coin noraebang.

Single-serving foods, readily available at supermarkets and convenience stores, are pictured.

Comic book cafes, open 24 hours a day, provide concentration pods for reading a book in isolation.

A young couple takes the underpass in a metro station in Seoul. Korea’s birth rate is expected to fall to an all-time low of 0.96 by 2018.

Some 37,000 convenience stores offer ready-to-eat meals for solo diners. It used to be frowned upon to eat alone in public, but this is no longer the case.

Men in their 30s form the largest proportion of people living alone. Choi Jun Ho, 32, is one of them. He lives in a rented Gangnam apartment.

Along with small Korean side dishes (banchan), Mr Choi also regularly eats fruit as they require little preparation.

“Meeting person who I love to,” writes Mr Choi on a list of things he enjoys doing on weekends. Since last year, he has been attending English lessons, and has taken a language test in preparation for his big move to London. Mr Choi, who recently left his job of seven years, says he can afford to pursue a career overseas because he does not intend to settle down anytime soon.

Mr Choi’s dining table is piled high with notes from his English lessons. This area is where he does his work, eats and watches videos to relax.

Men in their 30s form the largest proportion of people living alone. Choi Jun Ho, 32, is one of them. He lives in a rented Gangnam apartment.

A postcard from Mr Choi’s friend, whom he got to know via Couchsurfing, hangs on his fridge. Occasionally, Mr Choi opens up his studio apartment to foreigners looking for a place to stay in Seoul as a way of expanding his network.

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